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Xiong D.,Heart Institute of Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center | He H.,Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia | James J.,Heart Institute of Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center | Tokunaga C.,Heart Institute of Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center | And 10 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology | Year: 2014

The very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) enzyme catalyzes the first step of mitochondrial β-oxidation. Patients with VLCAD deficiency present with hypoketotic hypoglycemia and cardiomyopathy, which can be exacerbated by fasting and/or cold stress. Global VLCAD knockout mice recapitulate these phenotypes: mice develop cardiomyopathy, and cold exposure leads to rapid hypothermia and death. However, the contribution of different tissues to development of these phenotypes has not been studied. We generated cardiac-specific VLCAD-deficient (cVLCAD-/-) mice by Cre-mediated ablation of the VLCAD in cardiomyocytes. By 6 mo of age, cVLCAD-/- mice demonstrated increased end-diastolic and end-systolic left ventricular dimensions and decreased fractional shortening. Surprisingly, selective VLCAD gene ablation in cardiomyocytes was sufficient to evoke severe cold intolerance in mice who rapidly developed severe hypothermia, bradycardia, and markedly depressed cardiac function in response to fasting and cold exposure (+5°C). We conclude that cardiac-specific VLCAD deficiency is sufficient to induce cold intolerance and cardiomyopathy and is associated with reduced ATP production. These results provide strong evidence that fatty acid oxidation in myocardium is essential for maintaining normal cardiac function under these stress conditions. © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

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